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Weather system brings snow, freezing rain and sleet

POSTED: February 10, 2014 9:15 a.m.
For the Dawson Community News/

A winter storm warning has been issued for North Georgia with the anticipation of heavy snow, freezing rain and sleet expected to begin overnight Monday.

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A winter storm warning has been issued for North Georgia with the anticipation of heavy snow, freezing rain and sleet expected to begin overnight Monday.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service have predicted rain Monday night likely will change to snow or sleet by Tuesday morning.

Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford said the county could see up to two inches of snow in the first phase of the storm.

"Beginning Tuesday night through the day on Wednesday we will likely see additional snow up to 6 inches in the north portion of the county, with possibility of sleet and freezing rain up to a quarter inch in the southern portion of the county," he said.

"We will get a mixed bag of precipitation with this three day event. This is looking to be a significant event with several threats."

Dawson County School Superintendent Keith Porter announced schools will be closed for students and staff on Tuesday.

While accumulations remain a mystery, Alex Gibbs, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said expectations for severe weather are high.

"We are very confident on a winter-weather event occurring," he said. "We are medium on where the bulk of the weather will occur, and we are low-to-medium on the accumulation amounts.

"That is mainly because it is Tuesday into Wednesday that we are concerned with. That doesn't mean there won't be snow in the North Georgia area as early as (tonight)."

Gibbs said freezing rain is the main concern Tuesday into Wednesday because of the possibility of ice forming on top of accumulated snow and sleet, and the cold temperatures.

The forecast calls for snow to begin in North Georgia in the overnight hours tonight into Tuesday, with a low temperature hovering above the freezing mark at 33 degrees. A wintry mix could continue Tuesday morning, changing back to snow in the afternoon and then rain, with a high temperature of 35 degrees.

The precipitation could continue into Tuesday night as freezing rain, snow and sleet with a low of 28. More snow is possible early Wednesday with temperatures hovering around freezing, with a chance of snow continuing into Wednesday night.

"To sum it up in the words of the forecasters - it's not a matter of if, it is matter of how much, of what variety, and exact arrival times," Swafford said. "Take this storm seriously and prepare now."

In a news release Sunday night, Gov. Nathan Deal said he had put emergency response agencies on alert and began significant preparations.

"We've included health officials and power companies in our preparations because heavy downfalls of ice can knock out power supply," Deal said. "I want to make sure we're reaching out to health care facilities so they can have backup plans in place."

Deal will activate the state operations center this afternoon and it will run until the response ends.

Check back to dawsonnews.com for updates to this developing story, including school closings.

DCN regional staff contributed to this report.

 

 

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